Luke 8:26-30

Luke 8:26 (KJB)
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.

The country of the Gergesenes (Gadarenes) was located on the southeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was also known as Gergesa in the area ruled by Philip the Tetrarch. The trip would only have taken a couple of hours because in this instance they did not run into any storms on the sea. In the fourth century, Constantine’s mother, Helena, built a church to commemorate the site. Archaeologists have unearthed this site and today it is called Kursi.

Luke 8:27 (KJB)
And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

(Mat 8:28 KJV) And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. Matthew tells us that there were two of these men who met Jesus, whereas Luke and Mark mention only one. It could be they only mention one because only one of them spoke. When they had exited the boat, two devil possessed men, who because of their possession, were extremely violent. Incredible strength also goes with possession and that is why no one would have been able to pass that way because maybe the strength of these two men could have killed some or possibly beat some people up who went that way. They had lived among the tombs which in those days were caves which were cut out of the hillsides whether they were natural or man made. This area was avoided because of the possession of these two men.

The man who did the speaking lived among the tombs. Apparently the town burial ground was his home. Nothing is really known of this man concerning what nationality he was. According to Luke, this man had been possessed a long time and he wore no clothes and was unable to live in any house, so the only place he was able to abide was in the tombs. It was a common belief among the people that devils had lived in the caves just as today people believe that ghosts always live in graveyards. Not much has changed in the area of superstition in 2,000 years. Since he was indwelled by the devils, they had given him strength above and beyond that of a regular person and because of it, he was unable to be bound, not even with chains. Through the ages those who have been possessed with devils have been known to have super human strength.

Luke 8:28 (KJB)
When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

Then when Jesus disembarked from the ship, the man whom the devils possessed had spotted Him from a distance, ran to Him and began to worship Him. The devils did not do this out of adoration, but they did it because they knew who He was since they were with Christ in Heaven before they took sides with Satan in his rebellion. Maybe the man himself had initiated the run to Jesus since the devils would have no power in the presence of Jesus and maybe here was deliverance from this life of torment.

Here the devils, through the voice of the man, had cried out with a loud voice what did they have to do with Jesus who they knew was the Son of the most high God? They were now frightened because they were standing in front of the judge who was going to eventually sentence them to hell for eternity because of their rebellion with Satan. (Mat 25:41 KJV) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: They knew that there was coming a judgment day and they were fearful that this was that day. They were well aware that they would be tormented for eternity. (Rev 20:10 KJV) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. These devils hated God and showed it by their rebellion and now they are asking Jesus to swear by God that He will not torment them. This shows the craftiness of the kingdom of darkness, that they will even use the name of God to get their way, if possible.

Luke 8:29 (KJB)
(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

Then Jesus commands the devils to come out of the man and calls them exactly what they are, “unclean spirits.” “Come out” is in the Imperative Mood in the Greek making it a command. Normally, when Jesus commands the devils, they immediately obeyed His command but in this situation, there seems to be a permitted delay in obedience.

They had even tried to bind him with fetters which were iron bands placed on the wrists along with chains. His strength was so great that he was able to literally break in half the fetters that bound him and he would break the metal into fragments. Not only could they not physically bind him but they were unable to tame or subdue him. His possession by devils had caused him to be out of control and a very serious danger to anyone who would come close to him. He had the capability to completely destroy even the most strongest men who would try to tame him. The devils may have allowed some of these people to place fetters and chains on the man just to show how easy it was for them to break those into pieces.

Luke 8:30 (KJB)
And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

Then Jesus asks him a question which was going to reveal the extent to which this man was possessed. It was not for the benefit of Jesus because He would have known it already but it would be for the benefit of His disciples and those around who were watching. Jesus asks the name of the devil which was possessing the man. The devil had responded that his name was Legion. The term “legion” was a term which came from the Roman Army and signified a company of about 6,000 soldiers. Now this term had come to mean something that was many and not necessarily 6,000. This man could have had 6,000 devils possessing him or a smaller number but nevertheless, Jesus wanted this to be made public. Out of this great company of devils, it seemed only one had done the talking, the others had remained quiet in the presence of Jesus.